I was thrilled to see one of our baby pines on the cover of the September issue. I was one of the lucky ones—my house survived that horrific Labor Day fire. However, my whole neighborhood is gone, and we are still working on the recovery. There are also about 30 baby pines coming up in my yard, which is amazing. Thank you for continuing to cover the return of Bastrop. People should come visit—downtown is alive with lots of great stores and restaurants, and the park is making a comeback. Suggestion: Bring your family to the park and then make return visits so you can watch as the forest redefines itself over the years.
KAREY LeBLANC, Bastrop
While reading Les Thomas’ “Texas Kolache Trail” [TH Taste, September], I could almost taste those traditional Czech pastries as my mouth watered. Growing up in the sizable Czech community of Jourdanton, our Sunday-morning breakfasts were kolaches baked by my mother the day before. Besides the usual varieties, mom also baked “Zelniky,” which she made by frying shredded cabbage until it turned brown. She added butter, sugar, cinnamon, and a little pepper, and baked it in the usual dough with a brown-sugar topping.
JOHN NETARDUS, Slidell, Louisiana
I didn’t really care for kolaches until I had one from Zamykal Gourmet Kolaches (979/364-2386) in Calvert. Zamykal’s is run by the cutest twin sisters who have adapted their grandmother’s recipe. Not only do they serve some 30 flavors of awesome kolaches, but they sing for you, as well. Very entertaining.
JO FOWLKES, Waco
I’ve had kolaches from all of the featured bakeries and then some. Here in San Marcos, we have a gem near the Texas State University campus—Dos Gatos Kolache Bakery (512/392-1444), owned by two brothers named Katz. Their kolaches are the best I’ve ever had.
JIM WEBER, San Marcos
The best bakery in West is Gerik’s Ole’ Czech Bakery (254/826-3327). It’s where the locals meet.
TERRY TIMMONS, Abbott
Brush with History
I read with great interest about Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument in Dale Weisman’s article, “Our Paleo Past” [September]. Years ago, while my wife was attending Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, we lived in the married-housing section. A couple lived next door to us along with their 98-year-old grandmother. She was a delightful character with lots of charisma. She had many stories about the past, calling a dugout home and other hardships in general. Many stories were focused on her father, how he survived, and the many people who admired him. She said, finally, “Maybe you’ve heard of him; his name was Allie Bates.” And indeed I had!
PHILIE M. HINSON, Midland
TH READER RECOMMENDATION
Delicious Del Norte
Four of us spent the weekend at Cleburne State Park and decided to venture to Del Norte Tacos in Godley [TH Taste, May]. Our orders included that day’s special of smoked barbecue pork ribs, the beef fajita burrito, the smoked-chicken enchiladas, and the chile relleno stuffed with smoked chipotle pork. As the sign says out front,it is definitely “Worth Stoppin’ For.”
BRAD ROGERS, Ding Dong
From the November 2012 issue.